Striker’s Tales: The Night Before Christmas Nose Picking Nightmare
Christmas was a new thing for me this year, it was the first time I had Christmas without Momma Strike. Now with mom and grandma on the bucket list, this was the first time in my life that I didn’t head back to the Cariboo country for Christmas and New Year’s with my family and friends. Well, I now realize that I’m at that point in my life where I’m the one creating Christmas… being a dad and all. Creating the Christmas, giving my little monster Billie memories of good times before she grows up and I pass along.
I took what my family taught me all those years and put it into our new Christmas traditions. Billie knows Santa Claus now, and I know what it feels like to be staying up late and wrapping presents, looking for the right colour bow to match the ribbon like my grandpa did for us back in the day.
I created Christmas this year and it felt good. I made sure to get nice and christmased like I would have if I went back to the Cariboo and drank with the family. My dad decided to come out this year. Remember the dad that bit me on the chest a few years back while screaming at me! Well I’m not the type of guy to keep a granddaughter away from her grandpa but I wasn’t totally stoked on the deal either. He didn’t drink but still felt he needed to stick in a few jabs here and there and I just bit my tongue.
My brother that I found out about years back called and to say he was back from Afghanistan. He’s a pilot and captain who flies shit around for NATO and by luck our pops was here so he made his way over for a Scandal beer and Christmas cheer. I make these two guys look like tooth picks when I stand beside them.
While talking about traditions I’d like to bring up that I was baptized as a Catholic when I was younger.
Of course, I was a shit and got myself kicked out of catechism class. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a Sunday church school for kids. I was always talking to the girls and disrupting the class so Jesus got the teachers to kick me out.
As a family, we would go to church every Sunday and of course on Christmas we would go for the midnight mass. This year being the first time away from the family, I thought I’d go to a midnight mass downtown in the old school chapel. Patricia and Billie were going to bed cause it was too late for them. I told my grandpa I was going and asked if he brought his kids when they were babies. He told me he had and to drag mine out of the house.
My pops—I call him that because I don’t like to call him dad—looked like he wanted to go to church with me and I made sure he knew I didn’t want him to come with me and I was to go alone. And I did.
I left home at 10:30pm to catch the Christmas concert that started at 11:00pm and found a sweet spot to sit. There was a still lot of room to sit and I was thinking it might stay that way.
The church was nuts!! A real old ass amazing cathedral. It was so huge and breathtaking inside. People were starting to roll in and the church bells were ringing and it really brought me back to those days, except this time I was alone. It was just me, no family to chat with. Just me and the gay guys to my left, squeezing their leather hands so tight that their knuckles turned white. I’m not prejudice or anything. I guess I could have just called them guys holding hands cuddling, but this is what they looked like and that’s what I saw.
This church was just what I thought it might be and at the front of the church there are a bunch of candles that you can go up and light for family members that have passed on. So I made my way to the front of the church and just beside the old school creepy confession booths I lit a candle for my mom and one for my grandma. It was nice and I didn’t feel as alone as I did before I lit their candles.
ADD PIC THE GLASS
I got back to my seat and the organ fired up, rumbling my chest and skipping my heart. I could hear my grandma singing to the pipes as the piano player hit the thunderous notes. The church was shaking and the music turned to a dark evil tune at times, rumbling with really low notes. I remember thinking, “Deadly, man. This is the shit.”
The shit was powerful and I’m not going to lie to you: I was getting emotional thinking of my mom and family—wiping tears away, hoping the people beside me wouldn’t notice.
I was right into this now and the organ was still blazing Christmas style tunes and I was really enjoying myself. The doors in the back of the church opened up and the bishop with his huge pope style hat made his way down the lane swinging his ball of burning incense—the same shit they burned at both my mom and grandma’s funerals.
A gang of nuns followed the bishop and other priests. It was really a sight to see. The church I used to go to was nothing like this. Shit was getting real now. The service started and everything was good. The place was packed so they had to bring in more chairs to accommodate the crowd. Then it happened.
This guy pushed his way in and squeezed beside me, making himself nice and comfortable. It was all good until he started picking at his ears. I couldn’t help but notice this guy ramming his finger deep inside his ear and scraping shit out right beside me while I was trying to enjoy myself and take in the whole night. But this guy was wrecking it for me. He would work his ear with his finger, then take his finger out of his ear and look at his finger and rub the dry skin off of the tip of his fingers onto the floor and repeat. Shit doesn’t gross me out very often but there is a time and a place for this shit. Not beside me at church on the night before Christmas.
Every once in a while he would finish up and wipe his earwax filthy fingers on his corduroy pants right beside my jacket. My jacket was the only thing keeping our legs from touching and the only thing catching his fucking ear crust from crumbling on the church pew. But it was over.
The guy looked like he was all alone, like me. He would look down while breathing heavy from what I would guess a past severe broken nose and obviously a cold. He would sigh and shake his head so I think that maybe he lost all his family in a fiery car crash or something. He was sniffling and then let out the biggest sneeze I’ve ever seen, spitting lung butter all over his right hand.
It was the hand closest to me and I couldn’t believe it. I just got over being sick now I got this guy picking at his ears and spitting all over his hand. No respect, no cough pocket just poisonous saliva all throughout his fingers!
I wanted to move, I’d had enough. Then this guy over on the right side of me (but in the next row) starts kind of making a small scene. He was a black guy with big lips and very short, neat hair. He was bullying some old lady with his hands making aggressive gestures at her to move over so he could make his way into the seat. I’m not a racist but this is what the guy looked like and that’s what I saw. Mom and grandma’s candle flickered on. Throughout the mass this guy on the right side of me got up and down many times, talking and disturbing mass to the point some guys in black suits and ear pieces escorted him out of the church.
As I turned my head back to the front of the church and just started trying to enjoy mass, gay boys were kissing in church and the guy beside me started to pick his nose! You have no place to go when you pick your nose like this guy was. The people behind us could see the whole thing going on without a question. When I say this guy was picking his nose I mean this guy was digging, and when his finger would slip trying to move Booger Mountain, his whole head would snap back. I could hear him pulling off chunks of rocks glued inside his nose.
I turned my head away and looked up at the roof so I couldn’t see him at all. I tried to cover my eyes and block the peripheral vision with my hair but that didn’t work. I found myself praying to god that this guy would get a bleeding nose. How was he not getting a bleeding nose the way he was picking? He was a very aggressive picker and then we had to stand up so at this point he would roll whatever nose candy he had on his finger tips and drop it on the pew seat in front of us as a gift or a donation for the ass in front of us.
Now I was totally starting to get upset. I wanted to slip him the elbow in the guts and tell him to quit picking his nose in church. I wished my grandpa were there for it. I wished any of my family were there for it, I couldn’t believe it!
We sat down and again he wiped his nasty fingers up and down his pants beside me. In disgust, I grabbed my jacket from under us and put it on my lap. Dickhead was still digging away like nobody’s watching him and all I could think of was that it’s getting close to the point in mass where the priest reminds you to give peace to your neighbours. So everything stopped and everyone turned to the person beside them and started shaking hands, sharing a moment to say hi and peace to their fellow neighbour.
I knew this hand shaking thing was coming up fast and I knew I had to get out of shaking this infected body of filth’s hand, but I’m at church and what is this, a test from god? Am I supposed to just forget about the ear crack wax fingers, the lung resin in between his fingers and the nose aids that has been leaking over his nails, fingers, and hands for the last hour? I thought maybe I’d just fist pump him but you can’t do that in church. I didn’t waste any time and turned my back to the guy, shaking hands with the people on my right and after I shook all their hands, I shook the hands of the people down the line, in front, and behind me… anywhere but this guy!
After the stress of the moment, the guy finally left and I got to enjoy Christmas Eve by myself in the old Catholic church. Mom and grandma’s candle flickered ’til the end of the night. When mass ended, I went and took one last look at the fire burning in their memories before making my way out the side door, leaving their candles to burn.
I got home at 2:00 in the morning, got into Santa mode, and was in bed by 3:00. I woke up at 8:00 to a Christmas Bailey’s, hot water, and vodka drink!
Striker at church! That’s a striker tale for ya! Oh hey, did I ever tell you about the story of my mom going to jail early one Christmas morning a few years ago? A little drinking and driving in the Cariboo winter with some backwards donuts! I guess when you have a death sentence who gives a shit, eh! Hahaha, what an angel… wild and crazy lady. She talked her way out without a charge! She was the one that gave me the name Strike or Little Striker!! Right on!
Til next time, Strike your heart!
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